Pro-Zionist Writers Being Blacklisted

Pro-Zionist Writers Being Blacklisted

In a recent New York Times opinion article titled “A Chill Has Fallen Over Jews in Publishing”,  James Kirchick revealed a chilling trend; writers are being tracked and graded according to their Zionist sentiments. Kirchik links to a spreadsheet titled “Is Your Fav Author a Zionist?” classifying nearly 200 writers according to their views on the “genocide” in Gaza. 

The tweet by an X user named Amina Hossain linking to the spreadsheet has garnered over  one million views and more than 8,000 shares

The qualifications for being classified as a “Zionist” were incredibly low and not necessarily connected to Israel. Novelist Kristin Hannah was given a red warning as a “Zionist” posting a link to the Israeli chapter of the Red Cross, which the list described as “a pro israel medical service”. Author Gabrielle Zevin was red-listed for giving a talk at a conference for Hadassah, an American Jewish Zionist organization, about her book, which featured a fictional character with positive feelings towards Israel. Mitch Albom, author of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” was red-listed for the crime of writing “blog posts about how Israel has the right to defend itself.”

Caitlin R. Kiernan was red-listed for describing the campus encampments as “antisemitic”. 

The left-wing extremist-Islamist alliance becomes apparent in the red-rating of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. The list warns, “[She] has been pro-Israel for a while, and she’s also a terf, so conversation is over right there.” TERF is an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. While Rowling has voiced dissatisfaction with the Netanyahu government, she has also opposed Hamas and boycotts of Israel. Rowling has also described Hamas supporters as “snivelling apologists for rape, murder and torture.” She has been labeled “transphobic” for comments like  “sex is real and has lived consequences” while additionally writing: “I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them.”

Unfortunately, Noya and her grandmother were found dead, murdered by Hamas.

The list instructs that for “Zionist” authors, “it’s suggested you do not give them any money (purchasing their books, streaming their shows/movies) or promote their work on any social platforms.” Jewish authors who are anti-Zionist are highlighted for extra support.

Even refraining from expressing an opinion made authors culpable. Karen McManus, the author of “One of Us is Lying,” was labeled “unclear” in her views, with the comment, “Seemingly not engaged with any discourse.”

Salman Rushdie, the Booker Prize-winning novelist supported a Gaza fundraiser but also participated in a PEN America event. The list found this unacceptable, saying that Rushdie was  “at best, both sides-ing it.”

Rushdie has every reason to be partisan. His novel, The Satanic Verses, published in 1988 was deemed critical of radical Islam, containing an irreverent depiction of Muhammad. A few months later, a fatwā ordering Rushdie’s execution was proclaimed on Radio Tehran by Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran at the time. He was also threatened by Hezbollah and Al Qaeda. Soon after, a  Lebanese Muslim terrorist attempted to murder Rushdie by planting an explosive in a London hotel. The bomb went off prematurely, killing the terrorist and destroying two floors of the hotel. 

In 2022, Rushdie was stabbed 15 times as he descended from the stage in Chautauqua, New York by a Shi’ite Muslim. Rushdie lost sight in one eye and the use of one hand.

The Anti-Defamation League was clear on the subject of the list, tweeting, “Discrimination against authors, based on their beliefs related to Jewish self-determination, is antisemitic,” adding, “Creating lists of books written by ‘Zionists’ with the intention of censoring them is reminiscent of book bannings throughout history.”

Kirchik concluded his NYT op-ed:

“There’s a distasteful irony in a literary community that has gone to the barricades fighting book “bans” now rallying to boycott authors based on their ethnoreligious identity. For a growing set of writers, declaring one’s belief that the world’s only Jewish state is a genocidal entity whose dismantlement is necessary for the advancement of humankind is a political fashion statement, a bauble one parades around in order to signify being on the right team. As was Stalinism for an earlier generation of left-wing literary intellectuals, so is antisemitism becoming the avant-garde.”

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